Effect of host populations on the intensity of ticks and the prevalence of tick-borne pathogens: how to interpret the results of deer exclosure experiments

A Pugliese, R Rosà
Parasitology 2008, 135 (13): 1531-44
Deer are important blood hosts for feeding Ixodes ricinus ticks but they do not support transmission of many tick-borne pathogens, so acting as dead-end transmission hosts. Mathematical models show their role as tick amplifiers, but also suggest that they dilute pathogen transmission, thus reducing infection prevalence. Empirical evidence for this is conflicting: experimental plots with deer removal (i.e. deer exclosures) show that the effect depends on the size of the exclosure. Here we present simulations of dynamic models that take into account different tick stages, and several host species (e.g. rodents) that may move to and from deer exclosures; models were calibrated with respect to Ixodes ricinus ticks and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) in Trentino (northern Italy). Results show that in small exclosures, the density of rodent-feeding ticks may be higher inside than outside, whereas in large exclosures, a reduction of such tick density may be reached. Similarly, TBE prevalence in rodents decreases in large exclosures and may be slightly higher in small exclosures than outside them. The density of infected questing nymphs inside small exclosures can be much higher, in our numerical example almost twice as large as that outside, leading to potential TBE infection risk hotspots.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"